Karen and Lawrence rage against the crackers: How should we progressives react to the lesser breed?
On Monday night, Lawrence O’Donnell and Karen Finney responded with a good solid dose of outrage. At the end of a segment about Sunday’s “Million Veterans March,” O’Donnell almost played tape Michael Ashmore, 24, of Hooks, Texas.
In the end, Lawrence didn’t play the tape; it simply contained too much poison. This exchange ended the segment:
O’DONNELL (10/14/13): Karen Finney and Dorian Warren, I actually have more pieces of video. I just—I don’t want to play it. I mean, I wanted to use enough to get this conversation going but I am conflicted about how much light we shine on this horrible thing. But you know, it is a poison that we got to be aware of.Lawrence didn’t play the tape of Ashmore holding his Confederate flag. He was concerned about how much light we should shine on this horrible poison.
FINNEY: Well, but I think, you know, I mean, these people knew what they were doing—
O’DONNELL: Yeah, that’s right!
FINNEY: I mean, that Confederate flag not only has a racial intention, but also it represents a time in this country when we were divided. That’s what they are doing.
O’DONNELL: Karen Finney and Dorian Warren, thank you both very much.
Everybody gets to decide if they believe a single word Lawrence said. We couldn’t help noting that Finney went straight to “they” when she spoke about one guy, that one guy with his two flags.
These people knew what they were doing, Finney masterfully said. That same night, Rachel Maddow was able to tell us what Ashmore himself had been thinking!
People from Stanford are able to do that with people who come from Hooks. Meanwhile, everyone who lives in Hooks is aware of that fact.
Just to help you recollect, this is who that guy with the two flags was, or so said the Washington Post:
BUI (10/14/13): Michael Ashmore drove 24 hours from Texas for the march. The 24-year-old former Marine served four years in Afghanistan and said his disability benefits stopped about a week ago.Question: Are you able to "pity the poor immigrant," even on a provisional basis?
Ashmore says he suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and is "living one day at a time" without his disability check.
Politicians, Ashmore said, "just need to get their priorities straight and look out for everybody else instead of themselves.”
On Monday night, we were struck by the way a gang of upper-class elites couldn’t wait to land on the head of a guy whose thinking they couldn’t know, a guy who says he has PTSD. A guy whose disability check has been cut off.
Who the heck is Michael Ashmore? We’d have a better shot at telling you who O’Donnell and Finney are.
To his credit, O’Donnell paid much more attention to the pathetic remarks of Larry Klayman, the money-chasing, sue-the-world founder of Judicial Watch. At the start of his segment, O’Donnell played tape of Klayman’s remarks at the Million Veterans March, which 200 people attended.
Finney took Klayman’s bait. In our view, this is the reaction of an entitled elite, a foolish climber who flatters herself by calling her program “Disrupt:”
O’DONNELL (10/14/13): In the spotlight tonight, the Obama haters. At a protest at the closed World War II memorial Sunday, tea partier and founder of Freedom Watch, as you just heard in the last segment, Larry Klayman knew exactly how to please that crowd.First question: Why was this “absolutely disgusting?” Why wasn’t it “moronic?” When people like Finney take the bait in that predictable way, they transfer enormous power to world-class hustlers like Klayman.
KLAYMAN (videotape): We are now "ruled," quote-unquote, by a president who bows down to Allah...I call upon all of you to wage a second American non-violent revolution to use civil disobedience and to demand that this president leave town, to get out, to put the Koran down, to get up off his knees and to figure and simply come up with his hands up.
O’DONNELL: Joining me now is Karen Finney, host of MSNBC’s weekend show "Disrupt" and Dorian Warren, associate professor of political science and public affairs at Columbia University. Karen Finney, your reaction to what we just heard?
FINNEY: I mean, it was absolutely disgusting. But you know, Lawrence, here is the problem. Many of us have been saying for a very long now that this kind of racism has become, and this kind of open, blatant disrespect for this president, has become far too commonplace, frankly, since he became president. I mean, that is just but one example and it was obviously a very extreme example, but we have heard this.
We assume that Klayman does not believe the brainless things he said. But you empower such people when you take the bait, failing to say what they actually are:
Money-grabbers who take advantage of the world’s most gullible people.
Second question: In what way were Klayman’s inane remarks an example of “racism?” Finney went straight to the all-purpose bomb—and as she continued, she seemed to explain what she meant:
FINNEY (continuing directly): And why hasn’t anyone on the Republican side, just kind of similar to what your folks in the last segment were saying, where were the people to stand up and say, “You know what? You’re going too far. This is wrong.” This is, you know— And there is a level of acceptable racism against Muslims. That is part of what he was, you know, spewing because as Colin Powell has said, “So what if he is Muslim?” He is a Christian. But even if he was, why would that be a bad thing?Why would that be a bad thing? Pathetically, Klayman was telling those people that Obama is a secret Muslim. Would it imaginably be a bad thing if Obama were saying he was a Christian in public, but secretly bowing down to Allah in private?
Imaginably yes! It could be bad, at least in a Hollywood movie.
What did that handful of people think about Klayman’s remarks? We have no idea. But Larry Klayman is a hustler who has long taken advantage of the most clueless among us. One such person may be Ashmore, or not! Like Lawrence, Finney and Maddow, we have no idea what goes on in Ashmore’s head.
News flash: Lawrence O’Donnell isn’t suffering from PTSD! After Harvard, he made his way to Hollywood, where he took advantage of millions of people with his silly TV scripts.
Lawrence didn’t serve in the army, receives no disability checks. We’ll guess that he was running the rubes with a bit of feigned outrage on Monday, a bit like what Klayman did.
Finney went to UCLA, a very strong point in her favor. Earlier this year, she offered a non-apology apology after sneering about the “crazy crackers” over in tea party land.
Comically enough, she complained about “the hateful language” the crackers were using! This is the way her foolishness played on Fox News’ Special Report:
BAIER (1/30/13): A political analyst on MSNBC arguing that Republicans are using hateful rhetoric on immigration issue was forced to apologize for using what many consider a racial slur. Tuesday Karen Finney, a former Democratic National Committee communications director, said this talking about the GOP.Too perfect! According to Finney, those crazy crackers on the right had been using their hateful language!
FINNEY (videotape): The other thing that these guys know is that those crazy crackers on the right, if they start with their very hateful language, that is going to kill them in the same that they learned at their little retreat that let's not talk about rape.
BAIER: Many people took to Twitter to call her out, saying "cracker" is a pejorative and racist toward whites. Finney tried to explain, saying, quote, "Apologize if anyone offended. Not mean as racial, alliteration, like cuckoo crazy or cracked crackpots."
We report, you decide.
Is “crazy cracker” a racist term? No, it’s a term of class denigration—a denigration offered with ease by the finer people, people like us, when they find themselves confronted by the lesser breed from Hooks.
Finney was eager to take the bait from Lawrence this Monday. If we had to guess, we’d guess Lawrence was faking it about his conflict and rage.
But every time these fiery people take the bait from people like Klayman, they accomplish two tasks:
They drive up their own cable ratings. They also transfer power to Klayman, who made moronic remarks.